The Big 12 officially invited BYU, Cincinnati, UCF, and Houston to the conference on Friday morning. It’s a move that preserves the conference’s viability for now, and Frog fans should be excited about an old rival joining the fold in BYU.
When the momentum started to pick up around the Cougars, I reached out to Robbie McCombs, Manager of Vanquish the Foe, BYU’s SB Nation blog, to rekindle the old rivalry with a Q&A.
You can check out Robbie’s answers to my questions below, and you can read my answers to his questions over at VTF.
JP: What was your initial reaction to BYU potentially joining the Big 12?
RM: I was initially a bit skeptical since the Big 12’s future looked dicey at best. Would OSU and TCU join the Pac 12? Would Kansas bolt to the Big 10? With the Pac 12 not expanding, the Big 12 looks like it will be on solid footing for at least awhile.
JP: How are BYU fans responding to the move to the Big 12?
RM: BYU fans are stoked. We’ve been wanting into the Big 12 since 2011 when you all got it (we’re over it now) and really since 1994 when the Big 12 was founded. Independence has been good to BYU and we’ve had some great games, but the Big 12 gives us some allies in a time when the college football landscape is rapidly changing. Change will inevitably come, and it’s nice BYU has 11 other members it can lean on.
Additionally, BYU fans are stoked for basketball. BYU has the top basketball attendance out west with a WCC schedule. Being in the Big 12 will take BYU basketball to new heights.
JP: What are you looking forward to most about rejoining a conference?
RM: Independence was better than a G5 league, but a P5 league is better than independence. Being in the Big 12 should help motivation for later in the season after BYU inevitably has a couple losses. Once BYU loses a couple games in independence, a NY6 bowl is gone and BYU already knows what bowl they’re going to. BYU can have a shot at a Big 12 title all the way into November and play it’s way into a better bowl. The extra cash won’t hurt either.
JP: How do you feel about BYU’s future in the Big 12?
RM: I don’t know if the Big 12 will exist in 10 years, but for now it’s the best home for BYU. BYU should get a recruiting bump and will have more balanced schedules throughout the season. BYU’s independent schedule was often September loaded, so having nice matchups throughout the year will be a welcome change.
JP: Do you think BYU will come in and compete for a title right away?
RM: I think BYU will compete but I don’t think they’ll win a title right away. Independence helped BYU bridge the gap to a P5 league, but as we saw from TCU and Utah success doesn’t come right away after making the jump. BYU has good QBs in the pipeline, so that will make BYU a contender right from the jump, even if they don’t win the league.
JP: Are you excited to play TCU again?
RM: Absolutely. I can see TCU being BYU’s main rival in the Big 12. We’ll need Andy Dalton and Max Hall to run out their respective team flags for the first game.